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Four Seasons In a Day by WXO

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  • Four Seasons In a Day by WXO

    It seems like there is a nonzero amount of musicians here, composers too, so I figured I might introduce myself even further as a composer/budding keyboardist.

    Here is Four Seasons in a Day. I participate in a global music recording event every year called Record Production Month, or RPM. The idea is you get the month of February and no more to start and finish recording a music project, and at the end there is a global listening party online for a selection of everyone's projects. A single, an EP, an LP, or a boxset are the options. People do successfully make boxsets in the month of February believe it or not.... Anyway, for RPM 2022, I set out to compose and record a prog epic as an EP.

    I pushed myself to my limits to get this done in time. Before this I'd never scraped the 9 minute mark in a composition, and I had echoes of advice from the past that "no one ever sets out to write a long piece" but here I was committing to 20 minutes or bust. The motto for RPM is that it doesn't have to be good, it just has to be done. So what I did was record an intro and first section, pull some motifs out of it to inform my playing for the rest of the month, and then just record and keep every single idea I had. The structure came out like a four movement suite performed attaca, much like Close to the Edge. You can hear my Yes influence there for sure, but there's a lot more than that. I happen to think it's done and good. I just listened to it again, and I think it can hold up as a real recorded piece of prog in the future.

    Here is what I wrote in the description on Bandcamp:

    There's a saying Newfoundlanders and Labradorians utter to one another during heavy snowfall, rainfall, white sun, and thick fog with the threat of hurricane force winds all in the same day and it's that we have four seasons in one day.

    I did not set out to compose (yet) another piece about living on a planet - the idea of this piece is a rather simple 4 note motif - but as I noticed the winds are harder than ever and the rain heavier than ever (in February at least), I realized it is driven as much by a need to create a long-form prog-inspired work as it is by my deep climate dread. The wind battered the window next to me almost every day I worked on this, and it even limited my recording sessions with its noise. My work sessions for this often occurred immediately before or after going into active weather to work in my car. Nobody living in this province can ignore the weather, and truth be told, nobody living on Earth can.

    With that said, this is primarily a piece of music that celebrates being a piece of music. I wanted to stretch as far as I could into different genres, and weave it together into the same piece. I explore minimalism, progressive rock, jazz, metal and traditional music with a sense of humour and positive vibes. I'm influenced by Yes, Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy, Frank Zappa, Rush, The Flower Kings, and Meredith Monk primarily on this project. The more I explore the sounds I love in my own way, the more confident I become that WXO is becoming real. My passion speaks with this work.​

    Stonebeam starts with a raw electric keyboard piano and cheap organ duet where neither instrument cares what the other is doing. They meet, and the rest of the band (me on mostly MIDI but also some legit keyboards) comes in for real with some soft rocking sea vibes, guitars taking a back seat.

    Then a weird jazzy vibes solo accompanied by footsteps transitions to The Curse of 17, a section where I start off with a repeating unison in alternating 5/4 and 7/8 and go into straight ahead 4/4 metal/rock. This is somewhat of a secondary theme. Everyone shuts up for a minute, there is a moog solo and some more footsteps, and then I speak. Then I count out the alternating 5/4 and 7/8, or 17/8, then I go into 17/8, 17/4, and 17/2 at the same time and then the curse is complete.

    Fish Chant 2 was a *TON* of work. This is where I go to ostinato town and chop up some traditional lyrical material and "chant" it. There's footsteps here too. It's my second Fish Chant.

    Light of the Rock is the grand finale. I named this wondering when I'd see sun next. Then I inverted the title to get the first movement's title. There's a guitar and moog duel. There's a lot of referring back to the work. It ends with a clever twist on the traditional material I used earlier. Big John Williams style finish.

    The goal is to eventually get this recorded with real instruments and performed live. As such, this amounts to a demo. If anyone has any criticisms of it I'll gladly take them into account if and when I return to editing and rerecording it.

    ANYWAYS shall I hit post on this sucker now?

    By the way, this isn't my only work, there's more on my bandcamp where I go a bit into synthpop/video game music if you enjoyed this, and it's all free to stream.

  • #2
    Well DD, that was a journey. Well done. Begins with stately, glacial piano notes. Surgin' synths and rhythmic electronica provide surprises. Some nice themes. Then. The spoken word. Weather the weather whatever the weather, wether we like it or not. (😉)

    Heard echoes of Vangelis soundtrack work . Soil Festivities? Even Vollenweider. Crunchy footsteps through snow rythm? My imagination took me to your home Newfoundland. Cold, North Atlantic seas and wind and weather. Fishing canneries. Rough and robust women. Indomitable in weather , wether is hot or mostly cold.


    Last edited by Gilly Goodness; 06-23-2023, 11:53 PM.


    • #3
      Sorry Gillly but
      ”Whether is a conjunction indicating alternatives. Wether is a neutered goat or sheep. Weather is the state of the atmosphere. Will you ever mix them up again?​”

      DD, nice toons B’y.
      from a fellow resident of the Atlantic Provinces.
      Last edited by Khatrooper; 06-24-2023, 09:35 AM. Reason: Correction to Newfie English


      • #4
        Originally posted by Khatrooper

        Sorry Gillly but
        ”Whether is a conjunction indicating alternatives. Wether is a neutered goat or sheep. Weather is the state of the atmosphere. Will you ever mix them up again?​”
        Not likely. Fully chastened, I feel 😯